Back when I was 21 years old, there was a beautiful young woman whom many of us men in the Bible School I attended wanted to go out with. That year I was traveling around the country conducting classes and seminars for groups of people involved with an outreach program the ministry offered.
In April of 1974 I was in the city where this wonderful young lady was the coordinator. We spent a fair amount of time working together and actually got to know each other. Of course, the more this happened the more I read into it things that were not there. With each passing day I convinced myself that this person really liked me and was just waiting for me to let her know.
I schemed, formulated and finally developed the "perfect date". I was so nervous yet so excited for I just knew this was going to be the official start of what would end up being a lifetime relationship. It is truly amazing how quickly the mind can write a novel when it is infatuated with someone or something.
We went on our "date" (without it being called that) and all was going well. We laughed and genuinely had a good time. At the end of the evening after establishing that we had truly enjoyed a great time together, I did something that deeply influenced my life for years to come. Acting on the full self-persuasion that this person felt exactly as I did; I proposed to her that we take our relationship to "the next level".
Anticipation, realization and memory; these form the basis of the most monumental events in our lives. I had anticipated the answer she was going to give me for days. I was absolutely 100% sure the feelings I had were mutual and thus the anticipation of what was coming was as strong as a child s on Christmas Eve.
As the moment of realization materialized, I was caught up into a realm where the words being said totally contradicted the pre-arranged assumption of what was supposed to happen. She looked at me and said, "You are so cute". She then went on to say that she had no interest in being anything other than friends. With that, she excused herself and went home, leaving me in a daze of confusion, rejection and dismay.
When the realization does not match the anticipation the result will always be difficult. When the realization contradicts what is being anticipated, the result is utter devastation. Instead of a fond memory there is a scar which forever signifies the deep wound inflicted at the time.
Realizing you have been deceived is ugly and causes a very deep wound. Just as the event I described left a scar that still to this day is etched on my heart, so those who had been deluded into believing our Lord was returning yesterday are today facing unbelievable pain, anguish and depression. Instead of condemning those who were manipulated into believing a lie, we should manifest great compassion and pray for the deep hurt they are surely enduring today.
I was thinking about those people yesterday and there will be a variety of reactions. Some will be stunned and bitterness will arise. They will immediately decide that God is a fake and want nothing to do with Him ever again. In other words, it will drive them to try to completely turn their back on Him... because someone lied. They might have believed they were telling the truth but that makes no difference. Even if we believe it to be true, a lie is still a lie.
Other people will eagerly embrace whatever their "leader" tells them. They will accept that he was mistaken, just like he was the last time but they will not learn from that. They will blindly continue to accept what he says, never considering the fact that a true prophet of God does not make "mistakes". In the old Testament if someone made a "prophecy" and it did not come to pass, they were marked as being a false prophet and put to death. While that might seem extreme to some people, I don't think it was. To declare that you speak for God is not something which should be taken lightly. Before you say, "Thus saith the Lord..." you'd better be 100% sure that it is indeed the Lord... and then check again just to be sure!
Others will be convinced that the prophesy was fulfilled... only they have been left behind...
I pray that those who have been deceived will have their eyes opened and come to the full knowledge of Christ.
Went to bed with the many followers on my heart and woke up with them still on my heart this morning.
I have studied many years and once or twice mis-understood and have taught something wrong in scripture. Only by a willingness to listen, read and know God's truth have I and others admitted and corrected what we had convinced ourselves of. Note, not what the Spirit taught me from his word but what I determined it surly meant.
There is going to be much pain, doubt, fear, and worry among those that anticipated Jesus return yesterday, we don't need to rub it in but pray and reach whoever we may with compassion and truth in the spirit.
What male (or female) hasn't fallen as you write once or twice. I still think from time to time of a beautiful young red-head...